Collagen supplements

Collagen supplements

Best used:AM or PMCaution: Harmless cost effective supplement Best for: Joints, arthritis & possibly skin
Comments: Much more research neededMode of action: Dermal supplementScience Score: *


Why is collagen one of the most crucial elements in the skin?

Collagen accounts for over 80% of skin matrix. It provides support, elasticity & integrity for everything ranging from hair, blood vessels pores & overall facial structure. We start to lose collagen in the third decade of life, losing 1% of our collagen annually. Wrinkles, enlarged pores, & skin laxity are due to a steady decrease in dermal collagen.

What’s the best way to absorb collagen?

Absorption can be an issue, especially when it comes to a huge molecule like collagen. Smaller peptides can more easily pass through our intestinal barrier and into our bloodstream. It gets complicated as only a small amount of collagen is actually viable, & even then an infinitely small amount may be used by the end organ (in this case skin). 

Powders are the most popular as they are easy to mix, followed by capsules. Creams are probably the least recommended as the molecular weight of collagen/peptides are too large to be absorbed through the basement membrane zone into the deeper dermal layers. 

Watch out for products marketed as “plant-based collagen.” They don’t actually contain collagen, and though they say they support collagen production, the science is not there to back it up.

What are natural ways to supplement collagen in our diet?

Eat the whole animal, this includes bovine, marine, or porcine collagen in food. The bones and skin are the richest sources. Bone broth is another easy collagen-rich option as it is rich in amino acids. For a more detailed analysis of collagen rich foods, speak to a dietician. As a dermatologist I can only go so far!

Davin’s viewpoint on collagen supplementation

I am somewhat undecided on the evidence at this moment in time. Regardless, placebo can be effective in 20% of the time, supplementation is harmless & one can not put a price on the ‘feel good factor’ of doing something for our skin. Watch this space. 

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